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Corporate ‘B Team’ calls for zero-2050 commitment

Sir Richard Branson and a group of other CEOs renowned for advocating green business are urging other leaders to join them in “setting the world on a clear, low carbon trajectory”.

Sir Richard Branson and a group of other CEOs renowned for advocating green business are urging other leaders to join them in “setting the world on a clear, low carbon trajectory”.

The group has called for businesses and governments to aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in a move to heighten ambitions ahead of December’s crucial UN climate negotiations in Paris.

The so-called ‘B Team’ of 16 corporate leaders also includes Unilever chief executive, Paul Polman, and Huffington Post chief, Arianna Huffington, among others.

Call to action

In an open letter to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the group has called for:

  • Governments to commit to a global goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and embed this into the UN agreement to be signed in Paris in December
  • Businesses to commit to long-term targets and drive low carbon solutions to scale
  • Businesses and governments to adopt meaningful and effective carbon pricing
  • Governments to end all fossil fuel subsidies and shift support to renewable energy
  • Businesses and governments to ensure economic benefits flow to vulnerable communities that suffer disproportionately from climate change.

‘Good business sense’

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the B Team, said: “Taking bold action on climate change simply makes good business sense.

“Setting a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 will drive innovation, grow jobs, build prosperity and secure a better world for what will soon be 9 billion people. Why would we wait any longer to do that?”

‘Superior returns’

Commenting on the call to action, Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said: “Innovative businesses are increasingly aware that bold climate action represents superior returns.

“It’s time for more businesses to sign up to science-based targets, reduce their climate risk exposure and capture this historic opportunity.”